LONDON (April 15, 1999) - SEGA Europe today announced that it will launch SEGA Dreamcast in Europe on September 23rd 1999 at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £199 in the UK.
The launch of SEGA Dreamcast at below £200 is one of many industry firsts SEGA has achieved. SEGA Dreamcast's advanced 128-bit architecture makes it the first console with evolutionary capabilities, allowing it to grow and change to match advances in technology and the needs and desires of the consumer.
SEGA Dreamcast is the most powerful video game console ever created. It is four times more powerful than Sony PlayStation and twice as powerful as Nintendo 64, with four times the graphics processing power of the fastest Pentium II processor. In addition, SEGA Dreamcast is the first console to utilize hand-held gaming through its Visual Memory Unit, which allows players to swap games with friends in the home, arcade or head-to-head using two VMUs.
SEGA Dreamcast is the first console to offer Internet capability. In the future, the modem will evolve to give the system full networked functionality, allowing consumers to play games over the Internet, connecting thousands together at one time under the same platform to create a "community online". It will also give them access to Internet capabilities, including e-mail, chat and browsing of the World Wide Web. At launch ten top quality titles will be released. These include best-seller titles from Japan such as 'Sonic Adventure' and 'Virtua Fighter 3tb', and outstanding new software developed specifically for Europe by SEGA, exclusive developers and third parties.
At Christmas a further twenty superior title games will be launched to the market by SEGA and third parties.These will include both arcade based and console exclusive games, from racing and sports, to action adventure, such as 'SEGA Rally-2', 'House of the Dead-2', 'Cool Boarders Dreamcast' (working title).
Leading Japanese third party publishers including Namco, Capcom and Konami will support SEGA Dreamcast's key titles. In addition, one hundred developers across Europe have been working on SEGA Dreamcast titles in close co-operation with SEGA Europe. These will be released through third party publishers such as Acclaim, Ubi Soft and Eidos.
SEGA Europe will soon announce a major above and below the line marketing plan with a first year budget of ?90m to cover all key areas such as television and cinema advertising, sponsorship associations, sales promotions, in store POS and high quality merchandising, press, publicity and public relations.
In order to ensure the total success of the SEGA Dreamcast campaign, SEGA Europe has assembled its "Dreamteam for Dreamcast" - WCRS, M&C Saatchi, Bell Pottinger Communications, Branded, Carat and Initiative Media. The Dreamteam is already actively working with SEGA marketing teams across Europe and are currently fine tuning the creative positioning, the media strategy and the trade activities which will be unveiled within a few weeks.
Simultaneously some major sponsorship deals have been concluded and will be announced shortly.
Shoichiro Irimajiri, President, SEGA Enterprises, Ltd, said: "We have already proven there is high consumer demand for this technology in Japan, where we have sold one million SEGA Dreamcast consoles in just four months."
JF Cecillon, Chief Executive Officer, SEGA Europe, said: "With all of the initiatives announced today, we believe that SEGA Dreamcast will establish itself as the industry's leading games console and will remain so into the next millennium.
"Meeting consumer expectations is the priority at SEGA. In addition to being sold at a competitive price despite its technological superiority to the competition, the range of titles available at launch will easily exceed what our customers are anticipating. We will continue to grow the portfolio of games available, backed by the involvement of the industry's leading games' manufacturers.
"SEGA Dreamcast will establish itself as the world's number one games console."
Kazutoshi Miyake, Chief Operating Officer, SEGA Europe, said: "I am delighted to confirm to our valued trade and industry partners and, in particular, to the Electronic Retail Trade that there will be sufficient software availability to meet the expected consumer demand." Sega Europe is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in Europe. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $3.0 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home.